They Think It's all Over...Oh, it is. 4 years ago.

As I looked longingly at my housemate's copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 5, I found myself not only crying inside, but also pondering: Why are all the football games on the Dreamcast shite? There isn't a single decent footy game on the DC. Virtua Striker 2: WANK; Dream Soccer: WANK; European Super League: ABHORRENT. So, here as evidence are exhibits A, B, C, D and E to support my claim that the Dreamcast has the worst football games of any console ever released.

Exhibit A: Virtua Striker 2
Ok, so it's an arcade port...but why port an unplayable abomination like this? Even when you're playing it in the pub after several pints of Stella, this is still crap. You can't change the view, there is that awful "swoosh" noise when you tackle another player, commentary consists of "GOOOOOOAL!" The graphics are decent, but the rest is as comparable to real football as Peter Jackson's King Kong is to a trip to Knowsley Safari Park.

Exhibit B: European Super League
It has 16 teams. There is no commentary. It is unplayable. It has graphics like a Master System game. Do me a favour.

Exhibit C: 90 Minutes
Ho ho...this is so bad it's actually good!!! God, where do I start with 90 Minutes? I don't think my vocabulary is wide enough to fully describe how horrific 90 Minutes's even got spelling mistakes and the grammar on the options screen is as if it has been translated from Japanese, to Ancient Greek, to fucking Klingon and then into English. Awesomely bad.

Exhibit D: UEFA Dream Soccer
OK, so its not as bad as the others listed here, but whats with the Benny Hill style running animation? Also - if you line up a shot at goal, the player spins round and kicks in the opposite direction...but the ball still flies toward the goal! Terrific. How did they miss that in playtesting...come to think of it, how did they miss the rest of the shit enclosed within this GD-Rom? And a woman commentating on football? SACRELIDGE! She's only there to look at "Bavid Deckhum"'s arse.

Exhibit E: Worldwide Soccer 2000
Not, as I was hoping, an update of the Earth shattering Saturn footy game Sega Worldwide Soccer '97. No, it's actually an update of smelly PSX footy game World League Soccer. It's even got the same commentary, poo graphics and cheap scoring methods. Silicon Dreams, you are the games developing equivalent of Andy Capp, you lazy gits.

Exhibit F: Worldwide Soccer: Euro Edition
The same as 2000, but with the most contradictory name since the
American baseball league decided to call it's premier competition the World Series.

Exhibit G: Xzibit
Oh Dear. His real name is Alvin Joiner and that's not his real voice...a 12 foot robot was sent back in time from the year 2376 and stands behind him in stealth mode - Alvin moves his mouth and the robot speaks. Tragic.

So there you have it. While the Dreamcast kicks a veritable black hole of arse when it comes to other sports* - Ice Hockey (NHL 2K), Nascar (Daytona), Tennis (Virtua Tennis 2), Athletics (ESPN Track & Field), F1 (F1 World Grand Prix 2), NFL (NFL Blitz), Rally (Sega Rally 2) and even squashing mice into a rocket before a huge cartoon cat gets them (Chu Chu Rocket) absolutley stinks when it comes to football. Bah.

Heres hoping the Dreamcast 2 gets the footy game it deserves.

* I've left out WWF Royal Rumble simply because I find the girth of Kurt Angle's neck morally wrong.

Also, many thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on Saturday 4th March. Click here to see how many cards I got!

Totally Ridiculous Comparisons: No. 1

Seeing as today is my birthday (24 years old no less - and still playing games *tsk*), The Dreamcast Junkyard would like to use this joyous occasion to introduce the first in a new series of review based features: Totally Ridiculous Comparisons. Yes, as the name so cheekily hints at, this involves comparing two games that shouldnt really ever occupy the same sentence - let along be thrown into a 6 ft deep, shite filled pit together and ordered at gun point to scratch each others eyes out, pull each others hair and generally be unkind to each other.

First up:

Ferrari F355 Challenge Versus Star Wars Episode 1: Racer*

*This is mainly because they were bought at the same time (F355 came free with Racer), but I thought it would be fun anyway. So, how do they compare Monsieur?

F355 is a graphical marvel. It looks so realistic it's frightening. I will however refrain from using the phrase 'so realistic you can smell the exhaust fumes,' for fear of being mistaken for a staff writer on an actual magazine. Tracks are gorgeous, cars are lovingly re-created and, well it's just generally lovely. No complaints here.

Racer is a blatant port of the PC/N64 version. While it has a higher frame rate and resolution than the Nintendo variant, it appears to be practically identical to the PC one. This doesn't mean it sucks, but it looks quite basic in comparison to F355. It moves at a fair old pace, though - and the tracks are quite imaginitive and stuffed full of detail. Some pretty dodgy textures in places though.

Winner: F355

Hmm, F355 is a mixed bag really. Has some excellent engine effects - really meaty and powerful sounding - just like a real Ferrari (I'd imagine, never having heard one in real life), BUT THAT MUSIC?! Jesus H. Christ...what is it? It sounds like a rock medly is about to kick in, but then some sort of Radio DJ pops up talking shite. I turned it down just incase one of my house mates heard it and thought I was into White Snake.

Cracking intro music - very rousing. Music on the menu screens is replaced with background noise from the Canteena where the game hub is based. In-game orchestral music is very subtle but seems to build up and get louder just as something good happens...I can't really describe it - maybe it's just coincidence that the music gets louder when you're battling for first place...but it does. Sound effects are top class too.

Winner: Racer

This is horrible. There are so many driving assists it hurts. Granted, you can turn them off if you so wish but that just makes this twat of a game even worse. There is only the one in car view aswell (I know this is due to the 3 screen arcade heritage), which makes it hard to judge the virtual size of the rest of your vehicle and its dimensions on the track. This makes it difficult to hug a right hand turn because the F355 is left hand drive and you can't see where the right side of the car ends. Also: this game is way too hard. Yawn. Next.

Racer is like a polar opposite of F355. It's easy to pick up and play and is actually very enjoyable. Tight controls, excellent track design. No major problems.

Winner: Racer

You'l play F355 maybe 3 times before you realise it is impossible to a) win or b) complete a lap without finishing it in 7th or 8th place. Some stuff to unlock, but it'l be back on the shelf before you realise (or care).

Loads of tracks and vehicles to unlock. Great career mode and lots of upgrades to purchase with your hard won Trugguts. You'll be playing for ages.

Winner: Racer

Overall - F355: 1 Racer: 3

In the immortal words of Alan Sugar (or Donald Trump for our American readers) F355 - You're Fired. Here's your P45...Now get the fuck out of my face.

If you you can stomach reading even more bollocks about these two, check out my reviews of F355 here and Racer here

Next Time: Mr Thomas B. Clancy's Rainbow Six Versus Mr Bruno Bonnell's V-Rally 2! I can't wait...

Now though, I'm off to celebrate getting another year closer to my inevitable coffin by drinking unholy ammounts of beer and taking as many drugs as I can buy with the money from my pawned Dreamcast games. See you all in A & E!

Picture Overload!!!

When rose fingered Dawn swept across the sky this morning, I awoke to find that it had snowed overnight, turning this hell hole into something of a magical winter wonderland. As other people prepared to make snow angels and snowmen, I used my initiative and creativity to produce this: A Snowcast!
I've started noticing that there are quite a few PSP ads popping up too.
I saw this one and others like it on my way to work...
Then I turned a corner and saw this fucking behemoth plastered on the side of a building:
Now thats what I call advertising. Now, this is just a theory, but I reckon that if Sega had done something like this with the Dreamcast instead of this:Or this

then it might have lasted more than three poxy years. It wasn't all bad today though. At dinner time I prised myself away from my desk and forced myself outside. I wandered into a well known city centre goth-athon called 'Affleck's Palace' and found an original Pac Man arcade cabinet! Even better still, tucked away next to it was an original Sega Rally cabinet, complete with steering wheel and pedals. I had a quick go on it, but the years away from the awesome Saturn version have made me rusty and I was getting nowhere near my old personal best of about 48 seconds on the Desert track (with the Celica...the Lancia is a pig). Oh well.

Still a great game though, but it has to be the most uncomfortable-to-play arcade cabinet of all have yo use pedals and stand up? Ridiculous!

I may be some time...

I mentioned earlier this week that I had had two new entrants in the 'Yard. The first, Unreal Tournament, left me cold. Not just chilly, but freezing - Captain Oates style . I've heard great things about it and have observed an aquaintance play it online (granted it was about 5 years ago, on the PC), but having sampled it's 'delights' for myself, I will make the following statement to the first person I bump into on the way to work in the morning - "It's Shite." And yes, that was a capital 's.' It's not that it's a bad's just a bit, well, pointless. It's the Dreamcast equivalent of Turok: Rage Wars but -get this - NOT AS GOOD!


The other new contestant faired slightly better. Ladies and Gentlemen, say Hello to Rush 2049! I have to admit that I've fallen in love with this game, which is strange because the technician who manufactured me said my cold mechanical heart could never know true love and then slapped me across the face with an old slipper. Aaaanyway, moving ever so swiftly on, I've finally written a review of Rush 2049 and it can be found...


Also, I'm still on the quest to change that LED, but I need to get a soldering iron first and seeing as baked beans (see right) are cheaper and more essential to maintaining basic life functions than a soldering iron, the project may be delayed by a week. Or maybe two. It will not be a Wembley Stadium sized delay though, and is unlikely to cost the British taxpayer several million pounds. Thank you for your co-operation.

"Get a Life...Get a Dreamcast..."

Yes, that rather outlandish claim does exist somewhere else apart from above the Ivory and Platinum Gates that mark the entrance to the Dreamcast Junkyard. It exists here, as part of a UK Launch promo video.

Also, out of sheer boredom (right), this evening saw me try out Planet Ring for the first time. It's meant to be some sort of online theme park where you take part in various simple games with other players via the wonders of the internet. However, as I've stated elsewhere, my DC is not hooked up to the net so all that happened when I tried to play was a message that the console was looking for an internet connection... When it couldnt find one it just exited to the 'start' screen. Fellow Blogger son_et_lumiere made a comment about an 'infinity loop' in one of Jet Set Radio's levels a few weeks back...well, I think I've inadvertantly discovered a new one.

Next, here's a delightful Chu Chu Rocket advert. Why can't all games ads be as downright fucking lovely as this? If they were, I'm sure we'd all be much happier. Not only in our work, but also in our dreams. Cough.

Finally, stay tuned as I attempt to modify my DC by changing that grotesque orange LED to a more PAL-friendly blue one...results and pictures will follow soon. Fingers crossed I don't accidentally blow up a) my Dreamcast; or (less importantly) b) myself.

Butterfly Effect

Alternative realities are very cool. If any of the complete and utter bullshit published by 'Academics' on the internet has even a modicum of truth in it, there is a possibility that there are an infinate number of alternative Earths where me, you and even Noel Edmunds live totally different lives. In a similar way, there is probably an Earth where the gaming masses aren't brain-dead sheep who's minds are so susceptible to advertising and hype that they ignore truly revolutionary console design in favour of boring, EA funded Sony-manufactured white elephants. On this Earth, if you walk into Gamestation or GAME, you are likely to see the following adorning the shelves:

Good eh?! Also, in this reality there is no such thing as PAL and NTSC - everything is universal! The only problem is that the only edible substance on the planet is Fray Bentos pies. Still, you can't have everything.

Lost and Found

I've been doing some Google Archaeology (TM) today and have discovered some intriguing stuff...
I know I've mentioned the Dreamcast version of Half-Life in the past (see Profile), but according to Wikipedia - the online encyclopaedia, there was another pretty decent first person shoot 'em up destined for the Dreamcast...Halo!

It's true - go here to see for yourself. I loved the original Halo on the Xbox - it was one of the greatest games I've ever experienced. Halo 2 was aaalright, but not as impressive as the prequel in my extremely humble opinion. This is pure speculation, but I suspect that the DC version of Halo was cancelled (if indeed it ever got past the planning stage) due to the failure of the system - but to be brutally honest, the move from the DC to the Xbox was probably the best thing that could have happened to it. As much as I adore the Dreamcast, I just can't see the hardware being able to produce as smooth, seamless and graphically astounding title as the Xbox did.

Anyway, Wikipedia is worth checking out if only to glimpse some of the other titles that never emerged. Further to those, I remember being pretty excited about the Dreamcast's answer to Goldeneye - Take The Bullet (top left). I read about it in a mag...then nothing. Another such game was Picasso (bottom left), a cat burgler simulator with impressive graphics and interesting stealth elements...but alas, that too vanished without a trace. How appropriate...

Finally, what the hell happened to that good looking truck racer 4X4 Evolution?! Answers on a postcard.

Mags, Games & Buffoons

Over the years I have squandered a pretty large sum of cash on gaming periodicals. This is evident by the fact that I now have in my possesion something like 200 mags that chronicle my gaming tastes over the last 15 years. This journey of games-related prose begins in the early days of Amiga Power, Sega Power and Games World, continues through the Golden Age of the Saturn with Mean Machines Sega and Saturn Power, ventures into a land of unimaginable gaming greatness with N64 Magazine and then continues further with Dreamcast Magazine. The quality then takes something of a nosedive as we approach the more current mags, but I live in the hope that some day the Amiga Power team will reform - not unlike the Blues Brothers - and embark on a car chase through games land, crushing Nazis and saving the print mag industry from a slide into oblivion...

However, I digress.

The reason for this post is to showcase some of the Dreamcast Mags that I have been able to recover for the 'Yard. Here's a rundown of the different mags:

Official Dreamcast Mag; Dreamcast Magazine; DC-UK; Dreamcast
Monthly and the ubiquitous Mr Dreamcast. I also have a large number of Dreamcast launch related mags and for this reason have accepted them in (see Total Control and EGM in the above picture). And while they are obviously now defunct, there are some excellent reviews and features, although Official Dreamcast Mag's feature on the future of gaming (in the year 2050, no less) that still features Sega Hardware was perhaps a little optimistic...However, this buffoon (above) obviously still managed to glean some joy from it.

The 'Yard's games quota has also taken another boost - the new arrivals are Unreal Tournament and Rush 2049. Unreal is a wierd one, it's intended for multiplayer action but online gaming was left out for the PAL release. This is now irrelevant though due to many of the DC online servers being shut down and I don't have a Dreamcast Broadband Adaptor anyway (thanks to Diogo for the pointer) - dial up is sooo 1999, darling. Rush 2049 on the other hand is more of the same from the Rush series - big, bold, garish, FUN racing. Superb.

Reviews will follow when I get round to it. Shcnaarf.

Mr Newton I Presume...?

Today was a wierd one. An equal doseage of good and bad luck...and a brilliant advert for the remarkable (and previously scoffed at) claim that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. First, the Good - I picked up Ferrari F355 AND Star Wars Episode 1: Racer for the frankly unbelievable price of 79p. Yes, SEVENTY NINE PENCE STIRLING.

Granted, there was a bit of multiple Chu Chu Rocket/Toy Racer exchange action going on, but 79p? Awesome. If I'd been in Tesco and not Gamestation, I could have probably only got a Muller Fruit Corner and a can of 7up for that. Here's a picture of my reciept, with a strategically placed highlight to show the cash tendered. Apologies for the quality of the picture, but that's what passes for Macro when you pay £40 for a camera. Oh yeah - secondly, and perhaps slightly less important than anything Dreamcast related...I've got a job. Woo and indeed Hoo.

Now for the bad. My trusty mountain bike was stolen...

I wouldn't mind, but it had TWO thick chains securing it to a designated cycle park and it was outside a bank with LOADS of people walking past. This leads me to conclude that even though people exiting and entering the bank clearly saw this scumbag chewing through my chains with a pair of bolt cutters, nobody did anything about it. Why are people today such gutless fucking bitches?! If only Red Dog was around.

And to add insult to injury, Colin FUCKING Murray - that pretentious FUCK off Radio 1 (left), has managed to smarm his way into presenting Channel 5's football coverage. IS THERE NO JUSTICE?!?!?!

It's Official

Seeing as I am now an Official UK: Resistance Sega News Scout, I thought it only proper to emblazon my blog with this little beauty:

I had previously posted it fraudlently but was discovered and quickly removed it before the authorities found out. However, it's back - and the 'Yard will wear its badge with pride. Much Obliged Cmdr.

Role Reversal

I just thought I'd share this with you, the loyal Dreamcasters who continue to read my inane DC related ramblings: I have managed to aquire the world's coolest and unique mobile phone wallpaper -

Yes, I am that sad, but I can guarantee no-one else has got it. So There.
Also, in a sort of semi-interesting-for anyone-who-actually-gives-a-shit kind of way, there is a nice little sense of irony about this: The Dreamcast has an NEC PowerVR chip inside it; and now my NEC 343i has a Dreamcast inside it. Sort of. Oh, how I laughed...and then cried.

In other news, some loveable little rascals set a stolen car on fire at the back of my house on Friday night (see below). The explosion that took place was pretty loud and nearly (but not quite) as impressive as the explosions seen in passable PC - DC conversion/cash in Incoming.

Crime: always entertaining!



To be honest though, It's becoming hard for me to tell the difference these days...

Oh, and here's a new review of 4 Wheel Thunder.

Shenmue...on a Saturn?!

My comments about Shenmue in a previous post, with hindsight, seem a bit on the harsh side. I still don't think it's the 'epoch making, genre defining' (sic) extravaganza that I was lead to believe it was by such magazines as DC-UK and Mr Dreamcast (which is by far the worst magazine to ever crawl off the drawing board (even worse than if you rolled Games World and Mean Machines Playstation up into one hideous lexicon of filth)).

Since then, I've been doing some research into Shenmue 2 and how much it would cost (i.e. looking on eBay and Google)...and I inadvertantly stumbled upon some rather interesting information - Shenmue was apparently going to be a Saturn game!

Heres a few shots from the unfinished Saturn version:
According to various websites, Shenmue started life as Virtua Fighter RPG (a name I actually remember from my Saturn playing / playground defending days), it then changed to a Dreamcast game called Project Berkley (I also remember watching a teaser video for PB on a disc that came with the Jap system a mate bought on import a few years back). Obviously, Project Berkley became Shenmue, but I find it fascinating that the Saturn could handle a game world like Shenmue's. Take a look at this video of the Saturn version of Shenmue. I know the fact that the Saturn version is called Shenmue and not Virtua Fighter RPG presents something of a paradox, but I dont write this shit...well, I do, but not that shit. You understand.

A Salute

In one of the biggest acts of generosity I have ever been privy to, I must explain the ins and outs of the 'Yard's most resent acquisition. Last week, I won an eBay auction for a copy of 4 Wheel Thunder and paid the bargain price of around 98p for it. When, after several days it hadn't arrived, I emailed the seller to enquire as to the game's whereabouts. The seller replied that he had forgot to post it, and to make up for it was sending me some other items too...

Anyhow, they arrived this morning. Not only was 4 Wheel Thunder in the box, but there were NINE Dream On demo disks (complete with boxes); Soul Fighter (fully boxed); Chu-Chu Rocket (fully boxed); WWF Attitude and a Logic 3 game rack!! All for less than a quid! To be fair, I feel a bit tight - I've waited much longer than a week for other stuff to be delivered that's come from eBay.

However, for this spectacular act of generosity, The Dreamcast Junkyard also satutes you, eBay member michaelcutajar.

Also, a special mention must, I feel, go to the amoebas who have been posting non-sensical and frankly grammatically pathetic comments on this blog. If you look at the comments on the previous post, you will be able to read a ridiculous monologue by a user called 'verbalabuser.' What point this idiot is trying to make is beyond me, but if you have any thoughts, please let us all know. As I now have the power to moderate which comments are published, please do not waste your time writing rubbish as it will never get past your spunk-ridden keyboard.

Thanks for reading folks!


Regular visitors to the 'Yard will testify that the Dreamcast is still the greatest console that you can get for under 30 notes - the Gamecube just doesn't come close. Furthermore, the DC's games library is without a doubt one of the greatest to ever grace a console - why else would Sony have shamelessly plundered so may titles for conversion to the PS2? However, it would seem to this keen-eyed gamer that the folks at Microsoft are also guilty to some extent of raping the DC for their own ends...The 360 controller is a blatant fucking rip off!!! Look:

This isn't the only console similarity I've noticed either:

So what if the Pippin is pre-Dreamcast - just further proof that the excellence of the Dreamcast transcends not only space, but time too.
In the spine tingling and immortal words of Jeffry Maning: "...the Soul still burns."

Speaking of Space and Time, I watched Treasure Planet today. What a great film...and that ending...I was fighting back the tears. Oh, and yes...I've discovered how to do links. He He!


Today I ventured away from the friendly vibrant Manchester suburb I call home and took a journey to Salford for a job interview. For the uninitiated, Salford is like a tumour growing on the side of one's face - ugly, festering and very malignant. Such is the relationship between Manchester and Salford.
However, due to my eagerness to find some sort of employ, I arrived at my foul destination an hour early. To avoid slipping into a boredom induced coma, I had a walk around the local shopping 'complex.' Imagine my shock when I saw a Gamestation! I went in and discovered not one; not two; not three; but FOUR shelves of Dreamcast games!!!! FOUR FUCKING SHELVES!

And there were some decent games there too - all as part of GS's terriffic Buy One Get One Free offer. Virtua Tennis, F355, Tony Hawk 2, Unreal, Quake 3...I could go on. Unfortunatley, I didnt have my credit card with me. Bollocks.

I left empty handed and took a wrong turn - this lead me to some sort of flea market/bring and buy sale (see right). I wandered around and the surgically implanted Dreamcast Case Spotter(tm) that resides in my cerebral cortex was switched from auxilliary power mode to full on turbo mode. Lo and behold - I spotted a familiar blue case peering out from inside a box of brick a brac under a table. Trickstyle and Chu-Chu Rocket, surrounded by copied versions of LeMans, Space Channel 5, 18 Wheeler and more. Upon enquiring as to the price of these items, the grubby urchin behind the 'counter' retorted: "four quid each." "Fuck that" was my reply.

So the moral of the story is this my fellow Dreamcasters - always be on the look out for DC related stuff, it's everywhere - you just need a keen eye and a Dreamcast Case Spotter(tm) embedded into your brain to find it.

However, never pay more than £3!

"Hmmm, I see..."

Having recently had my life status bumped down to Unemployed Bum, I have suddenly found myself with a bit of extra time on my hands. Therefore, in between fruitless trips to the Jobcentre, having pointless conversations with 'recruitment' agencies and whiling hours away in the gym, I have been playing Shenmue.

To be totally honest, while I'm very impressed with the graphics, the actual game leaves a lot to be desired. The game world certainly looks very lifelike and suitably 1980s, but when it comes to the crunch, it just isn't as good or free flowing as many would have you believe. Infact, it's nothing more than a very pretty version of Wolfenstein 3D. Let me explain.

There may appear to be endless rows of shops, houses and people to engage in conversation, but ultimatley no-one has anything to say and you are just directed towards the next point by plot specific characters. There are some nice diversions thrown in (like collecting the plastic toy eggs from the vending machines and stuff), but if you stripped all the superficial aesthetics away, Shenumue's game world would be a series of long grey corridors (streets) with lots of little empty rooms leading off them (the shops/houses etc).

Maybe that's a little harsh, but you'll see what I mean if you play it. There are loads of lovely little gardens just waiting to be trampled on - but wait! This washing line seems to be hindering my wantonly destructive progress. That'll be the cold, grey metallic wall.

Still, for the PS2 obliterating graphics alone - I love it.

Maybe I could get a job down at the docks like Ryo - all I need is a brown leather jacket and half a tub of shockwaves on my thatch. Salford Quays here I come...